Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision — Acts 26:19
Visions are not as rare as many tend to think, but neither are they normally as dramatic and overwhelming as that which came upon Saul of Tarsus. I doubt that anyone is converted apart from a vision. We just don't call it that. We talk about a realization or a sudden understanding. It may not be, most likely it isn't, a direct vision of Christ. Instead we are stopped on our way by something we don't really understand. The light flooding into our eyes may not show us anything except our own blindness. The words we hear may give us only the next step rather than our ultimate destination.
Things that had been chafing us and challenging us at last confront us. We find ourselves pushed in a new direction. Remember that after his encounter with Jesus, Saul was blind for three days. Vision does not equal immediate clarity of purpose and direction. We are not necessarily like the Donald Pleasence character in "Hallelujah Trail" who, upon imbibing, would shout, "I see it now!"
Leading up to our house is a simple little drive made of limestone. We have a family or two of killdeer that live around our pond. They often come up and build their nest in the bare road. This involves creating a little hollow in the gravel where the eggs can rest. How they figure out the spots where the wheels or the mower will miss them is beyond my comprehension, but they do. They apparently depend upon the kindness of the stranger not to take them out with the trimmer. For weeks, I will see one of the adult birds doing the broken-wing draw play in front of my truck, tractor or bike. The little eggs are a silvery gray with black specks, and, unless one knows to look for them, they are hard to spot amid the grays and whites of three-quarter inch limestone chunks.
In a dream that I had a few days ago, I was walking on the driveway, and there, in the middle as usual, were two plover eggs. They looked a little odd, though, too small and too flat, too two-dimensional. I looked around and saw, off in the grass, two more eggs, larger and more natural in appearance. Knowing that I would run the mower over them, I decided to pick them up and replace them in the nest from which they must have been removed. Oddly, with the two speckled plover eggs, I saw another egg colored like a robin's, solid pale blue but much too large. When I stooped to pick up the eggs, I saw that the blue egg was really (or had turned into) a slightly flattened, roughly egg-shaped piece of soap — a half of one split at the long axis and set on that flat edge. That wasn't too surprising since we sometimes hang bar soap on the trees to freak out the deer. I looked down again and saw a lens from a pair of sunglasses lying on the road. I picked it up and held it in front of me.
If you have ever been out in the deep dark, like a remote woods on a moonless night, with only a lantern or flashlight, you have a good idea of how the mind works. Your mind is the dark forest. Consciousness is where the lantern spills its illumination. Dreams are a flash of lightning over the woods or a break in the clouds that allows the reflected light of the moon to bathe the world for a moment. Dreams are, by necessity, personal. My pastor used to say that we always have the interpretation with a dream or vision — Old Testament exceptions of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar notwithstanding.
Truth is fragile and must be maintained whole to bring forth life.
Truth must be sought out and protected.
If we are truly looking for truth, we will know it when we see it.
If we find truth off the beaten path, we should ask ourselves if our direction needs to change.
Handling truth requires cleansing. We must be obedient to it rather than using it for our own ends. Our motives must be at least 99 and 44/100ths percent pure.
It is always wise to remind ourselves that we often see only a dim reflection of reality — "in a glass darkly".